The Oni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, on Thursday in Abuja, expressed concern over the activities and utterances of politicians and elite over security challenges in the country, saying the South-west does not need any war again.
Fielding questions from State House correspondents after a close-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, the Oni of Ife said Nigerians must be wary of war-mongers bent on causing social unrest in the country.
“Before I came here I discussed with the Alafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, who has been there for close to 50 years and we cannot tore away such a very massive experience in terms of knowing the structure of Nigeria.
“And also by virtue of that Alafin is in constant touch with Owojale and very much we are all on the same page. So, I’m here and I had a discussion that is very fruitful with Mr President about what we all know – the security situation in the country.
“We made him to know that the issue at hand in the Southwest is real – the issue of insecurity. We that we live particularly in the remote and rural areas of the south western part of the country – most of those bushes and those forests are being occupied by strange people and we have decided to take it upon ourselves to try as much as possible to work with the government to fish them out.
“Why I’m here again is, everybody is beating the drum of war, we don’t want war, who can stand war? We want something better for our youths. We should better use them for something good other than shouting war and anarchy – we don’t want that. And to the glory of God we told Mr President that and he is on the same page with us,” he said.
The monarch enjoined leaders and politicians to be wary and careful while commenting on the nation’s security developments as some of their utterances may throw things out of proportion.
“We should make sure that things are right. Mr President has actually given good directives to all the security chiefs especially the Inspector-General of Police.
“They will visit each and every traditional rulers’ palaces that are very sensitive in the southwest with immediate effect – he is going to give that directive.
“We need to work very closely with them and every other security agency in the country. We all must put them to use now, it is very important for us to put them to use and work with the locals,’’ he said.
The monarch also told journalists that the president would soon clarify his stance on the proposed Ruga Settlement scheme which had generated mixed reactions from socio-political groups and individuals across the country.
He said traditional rulers are disturbed with the reactions of citizens over the proposed Ruga project and cautioned against stigmatization of the herders.
“Another thing that he assured me before leaving which I will go and give back to much more experienced traditional rulers in the southwest which I have mentioned their names earlier and even our leaders across bound – that he has assured that he would say his own side of the story about Ruga.
“He wants to let the world and Nigerians in particular know the true side of the story because he is being read out of content.
“So, we should give him that opportunity as number one citizen of the country and what is important for me is our youthful exuberant nature of our youths in Nigeria for them not to take law into their hands – go into those places and start to kill and maim. We don’t want that. The drum of war is resurrecting too much and we are very worried,’’ he said.